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Today is My Birthday

Today is My Birthday

As my unoriginal title indicates, today, July 12th, is my 28th birthday.  Some years I write X number of things I learned before age X.  Other years, I don’t even write a post about my birthday.  Some years I spend with family, some with my husband, friends, and others I’ve spent alone.  I haven’t learned a heck of a lot new since last July 12th, and there is no way I could write 28 things I’ve learned since 28.

Last year, I decided I wasn’t interested in material items or junk.  I stopped buying new clothing, and in 2018 my New Year’s Resolution is not to buy any new nonathletic apparel (I don’t go crazy on buying athletic apparel either).  After bills, I’ve chosen to spend my money on experiences rather than things.  Experiences like races, diners, and traveling to random places.  Things that I can look back on and think: dang that was fun.  I don’t need or want any useless junk.

As I reflect upon that, I’m also sitting on an airplane to Denver, Colorado.  I’m doing something out of my comfort zone, and maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I’m going to run the Copper Mountain 25k.  My only goal is to finish.

I haven’t been secretly training for trail races, but after running the Xterra 10k a few months ago and having fun, trail no longer terrifies like they once did.  I’ve spent a lot of time this spring and summer hiking and it’s become just as fun to me as running. It will be my longest run in a long time, the highest altitude I’ve ever run, and maybe not my wisest idea.  As I mentioned on my blog, when the opportunity first presented itself a few weeks ago, I said no but thought: why not? I have nothing to prove, and it’s getting me out of my comfort zone.

I’m really looking forward to running this weekend.

A few highlights of adventures from age 27:

Visiting the Grand Canyon

grand canyon north rim

Our vacation last year that we booked two plane tickets to Denver and a rental car with no plans.  We ended up driving 2600 miles and seeing amazing places.

road trip through colorado

PRing at the Phoenix Half in February Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

10 Mile Hike through GrayBeard Trail (North Carolina)

Air Force Marathon (half for me) with my husband and in laws

Apparently, I decided to nap and close my eyes right there…

Private Flying over NYC

flying over nyc

Those are just a few of the many memories I have from age 27.  I can only hope 28 will be just as fun!

Questions for you:

When is your birthday? How did you celebrate last year?

Any last minute trail tips?

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Training Last Week and Doing Something Crazy

Training Last Week and Doing Something Crazy

Last week was a decent week of training.  I am slowly getting back into more of a consistent grind.  While I’m not training for anything, I’m running and enjoying it.  Since I’ve either been injured or burned out, this ahead of most summers so far.  In fact, I haven’t run consistently over the summer in 3 years!

I hadn’t planned on not racing this week, but the cards fell that way. I had contemplated running a race on the Fourth of July. However, the heat and my mood didn’t want too.  I ran an easy, but humid run which was fine for me.  I have no regrets about it.

Monday: Short Walk
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Short Hike through Hike Point Park
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 15 miles with last 7 at 7:05

Thoughts:

I said I was going to race more in July and then didn’t race at all last week!  Ha, plans change.  As I mentioned, on Wednesday I opted to sleep in, enjoy an easy run, and relax versus race.  Over the weekend, there wasn’t anything local that worked with my schedule.

Make good choices, like not wearing black on days like these.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Sunday Long Run (15 Miles with last 7 at 7:05):

On Sunday, I did my longest run in a couple of months.  The weather was ideal, and I felt great the entire time.  I am extremely pleased with how it went. Over the Winter and Spring, I was consistently doing 14-15 miles on Sunday.  It kept my endurance sharper and made me, “half marathon ready.”  Meaning: You can finish a half marathon well.  Will you PR with that alone?  No, but you won’t feel like peeling over at mile 11.  Which leads me to my next exciting announcement.

Next Weekend I’m Going to Colorado:

Next weekend, I’m going to run the Underamour Mountain Series trail 25k at Copper Mountain.  I haven’t been “secretly hiding it and training for trails races,” but the opportunity presented itself recently and I’m going to take advantage of it.  When I was first contacted but someone, a few weeks ago I turned it down.  As most people know, I have social anxiety and have had some a relatively bad setback over the late spring.

This sort of spontaneousness (the kind I can turn down), is something I generally do.  Then I thought for another hour, and I was like, what am I thinking.  This is a once in a lifetime oppertunity, and I can’t turn it down.  It’s going to be fun.  It’s going to challenge me both physically and mentally!

It is entirely out of my comfort zone, and my only goal is to finish.  The cutoff time is 4.5 hours.  Since I’ve been getting into hiking a lot this Summer and it looks like such a fun combination of both hiking and running.  Do I have any expectations?  Absolutely not, but I’m really looking forward to challenging myself.  I’ll be the first to admit, training wise, it’s not my smartest decision but my goal this summer is to have fun and try new things.  I

There is a 20% discount code for any of the Underamour Mountain Series including Copper, Killington, and Mt. Bachelor.  I can’t believe I’m doing something so off the wall crazy, but you only live once right?  I never thought of myself as a trail runner but after enjoying hiking so much, I want to give it a shot. I think it will be the hardest running race I’ve ever done.

Posts of the Week:

Walking around Belleplain State Forest

Recovering from Workouts

June Training

Irish Festival 5k (20:25)

Questions for you:

Do you have any tips for trail racing?

How was your week of training?

Recovering from Workouts

Recovering from Workouts

A few weeks ago, a reader asked me to elaborate more on how Vital Proteins were helping to recover from workouts.  For the last 6 months,  even before I was an ambassador, I have taken Vital Proteins directly after every run.

I’ve gotten even more efficient at it during the summer too!  Now that it’s hot, my smoothie “recipe” is the first thing I want to cool me down.

Do I Personally Find Collagen to be Effective?

I wouldn’t post if I didn’t, but I genuinely do recover faster from workouts.  While I’m not doing many hard runs right now, I am running and still want to recover.

Why?

In general, protein helps muscles repair.  It doesn’t matter whether you use protein powder, supplements, collagen, or even have a slice of steak. There are dozens of scientific articles for having some sort of protein after each runs.

I mentioned a while back, I used to not have any protein because honestly, I was either forgetful or running late.  Since incorporating Vital Protein Collagen, I’ve added an extra 12-18 grams of protein depending on which product I use.

You could use other sources of protein, but collagen is fast, efficient and has other health benefits including healthy skin, nails, and hair. 

Here are a couple other benefits:

  • Helps decrease joint pain
  • Bone Health

Joint Pain:

I’m lucky that I don’t have a lot of joint pain.  I typically run in a well-cushioned shoe, but my form is more likely to give me a stress fracture versus joint issues (right now).

Speaking of Bone Health:

My form in running causes me to be very injury prone.  I’ve attempted to change it, but I walk and run on my toes. I always have and probably always will.  (Many nicknames include: twinkle toes, human ostrich, and ballerina runner) While it makes me a lot less susceptible to muscle injuries, it makes me a lot more vulnerable to bone injuries. Bone health is a huge importance of all runners, especially females.

Many scientific studies have shown that you can prevent osteoporosis by supplementing with collagen.  Collagen is able to stimulate the bone creating cell: osteoblast. This helps to make bones stronger and also healthier.

So those are just a few reasons that I’ve found taking Vital Proteins to directly help with running.  I’ve never used another collagen brand, but I’ve never had an issue with Vital Proteins and have liked every product I’ve tried (which is most).

The Products I’m Liking the Most This Month are:

vital proteins collagen peptides

Beauty Collegen in Strawberry Lemon

Banana Cinnamon Collagen Whey 

While I’m an ambassador for Vital Proteins, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Questions for you:

What are some ways you get protein after a workout?  

Runners: How do you keep your bones strong and healthy? 

Have any Collagen Questions?  Ask Away!

Training Last Week: It’s Hot

Training Last Week: It’s Hot

Last weeks training was nothing unusual or unique.  Like most people, I’m grinding away.  I am the first to tell you, I am not adjusting well to the heat.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like it, but paces that were once easy for me are far more than challenging.  In fact, last weekend I ran my slowest 5k in almost a year, and I was working hard!

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 70 minutes
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Irish Festival 5k (20:25)
Sunday: Easy 60 minutes

Thoughts:

As mentioned, there isn’t a lot to say about this week.  I’ve just been summer grinding away.  I know it won’t be a “fast” summer, but I am trying to stay as healthy as possible.  Running PRs and racing halves faster than a 5k, seems like a lifetime ago but that’s what I usually say most summers.

Irish Festival 5k: 20:25:

I’ll have a full recap soon.  Over the weekend, my husband and I decided to drive up to Connecticut to pick up some miscellaneous car parts, including a bumper.  We saw a 5k in Bergen County, which seemed fun and we decided to run it.  The course itself was relatively hilly, with the second mile all uphill.  On top of that, there was zero shade so you could feel every part of the 80+ degrees.   My splits were 6:20, 6:40, 6:45 and I was the third female.

I’m pleased with my performance for the day and with factors and have no complaints.

Posts of the Week:

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

Questions for you:

What are some techniques you use for summer running?

Do you run better in the Winter or Summer?

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Benefits of Racing Frequently

My cup of tea is not everyone’s cup of tea.  In fact, trivial to the post I don’t drink tea, just coffee.

It’s no secret I haven’t been training like when I set my half marathon PR in February.  After February, I trained and ran, but I know myself well that I’m good for a couple of PRs (if I’m lucky) a year.

April, May, and now most of June has gone around, and here we are.  I want to consistently run and train again, something I rarely do over the summer.  It’s hot and humid, but I want to spend all of my time outside.

Like when I set my 5k PR over two years ago, I plan to do a lot of 5ks on weekends.  This is what led to my 18:13  a couple of years ago.  I don’t think I was quite there in February but did run 18:29 at the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k in March.

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Many people have asked:

Why race so much? Why spend so much money on running road races?

I’ve talked about this before but I don’t have kids, and my husband and I don’t spend a lot of useless junk.  I prefer experiences or good food, versus an expensive piece of clothing or whatever.  In fact, my New Year Resolution was not to buy any new nonrunning clothing.  So far so good.

 Won’t You Get Injured?

I would like to hope not but I take at least 1, sometimes 2 days off per week.  I either cross train (it’s been hiking recently) or don’t do anything.

I also take my easy runs, extremely easy.  I could run 8 minute miles (extremely unlikely) or 12-minute miles, but I keep it easy and by effort.  I mentioned last week I had a Garmin Vivosport which I put in timer mode.  I usually run for X amount of minutes or on a route I already know the distance (then I don’t time it).

It’s Also Important to Remember a Few Things:

You’re not going to progressively get faster:

As I know and have experienced many times with racing frequently, you won’t get faster every single time you race.  You shouldn’t expect too!  Progress is not linear with anything.  Last week I ran a 20:06 5k.  It’s a great base and who knows, next 5k might be slower but I know I’m putting in the effort, miles, and consistency.  A few years ago, I ran a 19:10 5k in one I was hoping to PR.

Remember, at the end of the day, “it’s just running.”  You will be the same person whether you logged a PR or didn’t.

Races are Hard:

If you are like me, you know you can push yourself harder at races.  If I do a workout alone, it usually feels harder and more of a challenge.  Running a race as a workout, allows me to push myself harder than I would alone. I usually have to watch out for mentally burning myself out from overracing.

Racing with Friends:

Since I work at a running store, I do appreciate being able to see friends or people I’ve helped in achieving their goals.  It’s great to run with friends at local races and support a local cause.

Progress is Measurable:

There are many factors with a race, but you are able to see if you are progressing or not.

I like the ability to see that progress.

The Experience of Racing:

I don’t get nervous before big races.  Sure I get the butterflies but I don’t nervous to fail because I know both good and bad races come with the territory.  Not every race will be the best ever, but it’s those not great races that make the good ones feel…good!  I know my family and friends still care about me whether I PR or not.  The experience of toeing the line frequently has taught me that.

Questions for you:

Do you race often?  Do you prefer too?

Training Last Week: Grinding and Racing

Training Last Week: Grinding and Racing

Last week felt better than the previous in terms of running.  I was able to add miles in the week and then had a quality race.  Not my fastest time but great for where I am right now.  I don’t think this will be an amazing comeback story, but more a story of plugging along through the summer months.

Monday: Easy 50 minutes
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Easy 50 minutes
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 50 minutes
Saturday: Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)
Sunday: Easy 60 minutes

Thoughts:

My easy runs of the week were just that, easy.  Originally I thought I might get a workout in Wednesday but my body was tired and that would be overdoing workouts and speed.

Bungalow Beach 5 Miler: (32:12)

It was the inaugural year for the race.  Since I like the Atlantic City races so much, I thought it would be fun to do.  The last 400 meters is on the soft sand which doesn’t make for a fast finish.  The day itself was 100% humidity.  So with the weather and course, I knew it wouldn’t be the easiest day.

I’m glad I ran and got to see a lot of friends.  My body didn’t feel great but not bad either.  I definitely didn’t feel fresh.  I was barely able to hang onto first, as the second place woman was fast approaching. In all, I’m happy with how I did and I post a longer recap this week.

Thoughts:

I’m happy with the week and I feel like I’m slowly progressing towards fitness.  I’m nowhere near there but I do feel like I’m progressing.  I was talking to a good friend, and while I only took a week off from running, I decreased my miles and was mentally disengaged for almost 2 months now. I do believe there is something to be said about that.  I don’t think this will be a “glamorous” comeback and I think it will involve a lot more grind but that’s ok.

Posts from the Week:

Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie

Exploring the Maurice River Bluffs

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Have you ever run on sand?  What is a meaningful cause/charity to you? 

Training: Rest and a 5k

Training: Rest and a 5k

Last week I took Saturday through Thursday off.  It was the best thing I did for myself.  My body needed a longer break.  As I get back to building into running, I’ll slowly build mileage.  Last weeks rest was important, but not jumping back into higher mileage is just as important.

Not much to say about not running right?  You don’t run, and life goes on.   The rest was great, and it allowed me to recharge both mentally and physically.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Easy 30 minute walk at Maurice River
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 30 minutes
Saturday: Easy 30 minutes
Sunday: Fathers Day 5k (20:06)

Friday and Saturday were just easy runs.  There wasn’t anything too exciting about it.

Fathers Day 5k:

On Sunday, my husband asked if I wanted to run a 5k.  I said not really, but we still went.  He hasn’t been running a lot either but wants to get back into shape. The race benefited a charity associated with prostate cancer.  Unfortunately, we’ve known a few people with this.

I knew it wouldn’t be a fast time for me, but I decided to run and see where I’m at.  The last time I raced a 5k was nearly 2 months ago and the last time I considered myself actively training was around Broad Street.  It was definitely hot, but I’m happy with my race.

Posts of the Week:

Why You Don’t See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

Rest is Best

Saving Time Shopping for Essentials

Next week, I’ll continue easing back into running.  I would like to race most weekends, with minimal expectations to get some speed back.

Questions for you:

How was your week?

Do you like taking breaks from running?

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